Our Mission Statement:
The mission of Pens & Pages Writers Guild is to facilitate and encourage writers of all genres, to share resources and tips about the writing process and, most of all, to provide a positive and productive forum that will encourage and support each writer in his or her creative endeavors.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Take A Break
If your writing is getting boring and cliched, it's time to take a break and gather some new inspiration; read a book, watch a movie or TV show, then tomorrow get back to the old word processor (or typewriter, or yellow tablet) after giving your brain a little time to revive.
I've seen a few movies in recent weeks which seem especially good for those of us who write:
"Stranger Than Fiction" is the story of a writer (Emma Thompson) who confronts some major problems while planning to kill off her main character (Will Farrell). This is a little more serious role for Farrell than his usual slapstick comedy style.
"Miss Potter" is a great movie for those who write for children. This biographical story evolves around Beatrix Potter of London who wrote and illustrated the classic Peter Rabbit series of children's books at the turn of the last century. Here's a lady who got things done in spite of obstacles in her path. If you rent this one, be sure to check out the extra film clips about her later life in rural England explaining how she preserved the country environment around her. A lady WAY ahead of her time.
"Shadows in the Sun" is a pretty good movie about writer's block; losing your ability to write because of of emotional trauma. It stars Harvey Keitel and Joshua Jackson. Beautiful scenery, set in Italy, with a little romance thrown in just to lighten up the story a bit.
Someone in our group, I can't remember who, recommended the book "Home Safe" by Elizabeth Berg. Surprise --- it isn't about baseball! The main character is a well-known writer who conducts writing workshops similar in scope to the writing exercises we do at P & P meets. This is another story line dealing with emotional trauma following the death of a spouse.
I also enjoyed the recent TV series "Castle" (ABC) which centers around a mystery writer who works closely with a lady police detective. Of course there is some romantic comedy involved, but you can pick up a few writing tips along the way. One such tip goes thusly: there are only three reasons to kill (murder) your main character; money, love, or to cover up a crime already committed. Interesting! I hope this series returns to the small screen next Fall.
I'll close with a quote I picked up somewhere: "Bad decisions make good stories." I'm planning to think about the worst decisions I've made during these past seven decades and write them down. I've got plenty to choose from.